Project: Good and Bad Leadership

Short description

It is well-known that leadership is crucial in the initiation of collective action. Collective action, in turn, can be an important route to successful and sustainable management of natural resources. The specific roles of leadership, however, have not been studied extensively. In particular, the way leadership can facilitate the early phase of collaboration, and the problems created by lack of a leader to deal with the many diverse players involved in later stages of collaboration, deserve further work. We plan to examine these issues and add a quantitative dimension. There is a huge amount of qualitative case studies on determinants for successful natural resource management. We plan to add to these insights from the equally large quantitative data set on natural resource management.



In particular we propose to:

  •  Study the impact of leadership on collective action that results in natural resource management success on both an ecological and social level
  • Elaborate criteria and indicators that determine the factor of leadership, by extracting variables and making new combination of variables from existing databases
  • Conceptualize and elaborate on the notion of bad leadership and the effect it has on collective action efforts


More information

This project is conducted by Dr. Insa Theesfeld (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe) in collaboration with Dr. Ulrich Frey (Center for Philosophy and the Foundation of Science; Justus-Liebig-Universit├Ąt Giessen).

The work on the data sets is supported by researchers at the IAMO and by the research team led by Dr. Ulrich Frey in Giessen. This research team tries to build a quantitative model of success factors for natural resource management through the use of neural networks. These factors are highly relevant for, e.g., the operations of commons-groups, providing accurate prognoses of and practical advice for their future success.



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